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Nature's Multivitamins.

Below are some of nature's super foods, multivitamins as they are made in nature. In there natural form they are a lot easier for the body to recognize, digest and assimilate.

By: Kristi Lees

In a world of creatine, multivitamins and ECA stacks many other important accessory foods seem to have gotten lost by the way side. Bodybuilding and weight loss supplements do have their place and can offer a lot of great benefits, but some people lack the digestive capacity to deal with large amounts of manmade vitamins and minerals.

Below are some of natures' super foods, multivitamins as they are made in nature. In their natural form they are a lot easier for the body to recognize, digest and assimilate.


Maca

    What:
    Maca is a South American root vegetable; its official name is Lepidium meyenii and is also referred to as Peruvian Ginseng. Native Peruvians have used maca since before the time of the Incas for both its nutritional and adaptogenic qualities.

    Why:
    It is high in plant sterols which assist in gaining strength and increasing energy. It is also a well reputed energy tonic which helps to counter fatigue and energize the body.

    Maca is rich in; amino acids, important fatty acids including linolenic and oleic acids alkaloids, tannins. Vitamins: A, B1, B2, B3, B12, C, D and E and the minerals; calcium, magnesium, potassium, silica, iodine, iron, manganese, zinc, copper, sodium and phosphorus

    Extra Benefits:
    Maca has long been known as the herb for fertility, it is said to rekindle the desires and the fires of lost passion by increasing the libido. It supports the immune system, is good for anaemia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression and all forms of hormonal problems.

    How:
    It is a malt tasting powder that can either be taken mixed with water or as a capsule or in extract form.

    Learn More About Maca...


Royal Jelly

    What:
    Royal jelly is said to be one of the most nutritious foods produced by an animal, plant or insect. It is a thick milky substance that is secreted from the glands of a special group of nurse bees between their 6-12 days of life. Royal jelly is one of natures' super foods designed to promote maximum life and longevity. It is the food for the queen bee that weighs 30 times as much and lives 30 times longer than other bees.

    Why:
    It contains vitamins A, B-complex, C, D and E and is the richest single source of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), known especially for its stress reducing abilities. It also contains calcium, chromium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, silicon, sulfur, zinc and 18 different amino acids. Because of its nutritional make up it is good for energy and general wellbeing.

    Extra Benefits:
    It contains antibacterial and antibiotic components which help to boost the immune system and fight many ailments such as; asthma, liver disease, insomnia, stomach ulcers, kidney disorders, bone fractures and skin problems.

    How:
    You can find royal jelly in capsules which you can take daily or alternatively you can by it preserved in a honey which you can add to food or eat alone. It can also be bought as a liquid sold in vials, mainly found in Asian Food stores.


Bee Pollen

    What:
    Bee pollen is a golden-colored dust gathered by bees from the stamens of flowers and is treasured for its many health-enhancing benefits.

    Why:
    It is 10-15 percent protein and contains all B-complex vitamins, vitamins A, C, essential fatty acids, as well as the minerals calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and sodium. It is full of enzymes and is a good source of simple sugars for a quick source of energy.

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    Extra Benefits:
    Bee pollen contains high concentrations of quercetin, a plant flavonoid with antihistamine and anti-allergenic properties used in fighting asthma and other allergies. It is also useful for combating fatigue, depression, cancer and colon disorders.

    How:
    Bee pollen can be found in granules at the local health food store. The granules should be fresh, flowing and not clumped together. The nutrients in bee pollen are very sensitive so it should be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated at all times.


Aloe Vera

    What:
    Aloe Vera is a cactus like plant with over 200 varieties grown in different dry regions of the world. The name Aloe Vera stems from "alloeh," the Arabic word for bitter, as the aloe leaves contain a bitter liquid.

    Why:
    Aloe Vera also contains amino acids, calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, enzymes and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and E.

    Extra Benefits:
    Commonly known as a skin healer, it is good for burns, cuts, scars, acne, eczema and virtual any other skin condition. When taken internally it can also help in the healing of stomach disorders and colon problems including; ulcers, constipation and colitis.

    How:
    Available in powder, capsules, bottled gel or juice, tablets, decoctions, tinctures and extracts. Your options for administering aloe vera are numerous and can either be taken internally or applied topically depending on the condition you are trying to treat.

    Learn More About Aloe Vera...


Brewers Yeast

    What:
    Brewer's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is inactive yeast, meaning the yeasts have been killed and have no leavening power. It is the yeast remaining after beer making and is used as a nutrient supplement to increase the intake of B vitamins.

    Why:
    Brewers yeast is rich in many basic nutrients such as B vitamins, amino acids, and at least 14 different minerals. The protein content of yeast is responsible for 52 percent of its weight. Because of its B vitamin content it is a great physical and mental energy boost between meals.

    Extra Benefits:
    It helps metabolism, is good for eczema, heart disorders, gout, nervousness and fatigue.

    How:
    Brewer's yeast comes powdered (the most potent form), in flakes and in tablets. It can be added to drinks, sprinkled over food or eaten alone. Make sure you use brewers yeast and not active bakers yeast as they are totally different in their functions.

    Precautions: Because of its high phosphorus content it is not recommended for people suffering with osteoporosis. If you are taking large amounts of yeast you should make sure to get adequate calcium in the diet. Supplementation of one tablespoon of brewers yeast a day should be enough.


Wheatgerm

    What:
    Wheat germ is the nutritious grain cover removed in the refining of wheat. It is a daily by product of white flour manufacturing.

    Why:
    It contains a high concentration of vitally important nutrients. It is one of the best dietary sources of vitamin E available, and is also an excellent source of complete protein. It contains essential fatty acids, most B vitamins, iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium and zinc.

    Extra Benefits:
    Because of its high vitamin E content it is useful for all things related to vitamin E such as; reproduction in both men and women, stress management, healthy skin, growth and vigor.

    Without E, we can't resist infections, we don't grow normally, we're weak, our muscles waste away and our nerves cannot direct our muscles to move correctly. It is a powerful anti-oxidant that keeps our cells healthy and also helps to keep cell membranes intact and prevents the formation of scar tissue and stretch marks. Other ailments helped by vitamin E include angina, arthritis, bursitis, osteoporosis, skin disorders, varicose veins and sunburn

    How:
    It must be absolutely fresh, since it becomes rancid and harmful after about ten days. It is best to only purchase wheat germ in vacuum-sealed packages that have been stored in a cooler or freezer. Wheat germ must not be cooked, but can be sprinkled on food before serving. As a supplement it is best to take two to four tablespoons a day.

    Learn More About Wheatgerm...


Tribulus Terrestris

    What:
    An herb that has been used by the Chinese for centuries, common name is puncture vine.

    Why:
    Contains amino acids, calcium, essential fatty acids, iron, phosphorus, potassium and vitamin C. Helps builds muscles, increases stamina and endurance.

    Extra Benefits:
    Stimulates production of and balances male and female hormones. Enhances the immune system and has antifungal, antibacterial and anti- inflammatory actions. Improves sex drive and enhances the immune system.

    How:
    Tribulus is normally taken via capsules or tablets.

    Learn More About Tribulus Terrestris...


Fiber

    What:
    Fiber is the indigestible part of plants. There are two types, soluble and insoluble.

    Why:
    It helps to control cortisol levels in the body by stabilizing insulin levels. These two hormones are essential for metabolism and therefore the body's energy efficiency. It also ensures the body's wastes are eliminated quickly keeping you healthy, alert and functioning at your optimum. Although it doesn't contain any vitamins or minerals it is vital intestinal health which is essential for vitamin and mineral absorption.

    Extra Benefits:
    It is known to help prevent colon cancer, constipation, hemorrhoids, obesity and many other disorders.

    How:
    The best way to get fibre is by eating lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains and other unrefined foods of plant origin. You can also get fibre supplements such as; bran, gums and pectin.

    Precautions: Always take fibre supplements separately from other medications and supplements and be sure to drink plenty of water.

    Learn More About Fiber...


Green Foods

    The following food supplements are well known 'green foods' which have become popular in recent years, I am sure you have seen that strange looking tray of wheatgrass down at the local juice bar? Such grasses have become such a hit because of their high nutrient composition and especially their rich chlorophyll content.

    Chlorophyll is the substance that makes plants green. In the body chlorophyll detoxifies, deodorizes and soothes inflammation. Chlorophyll helps build the bodys' blood supply as well as activating enzymes and renewing tissue. Chlorophyll is often called "concentrated sun power" and is very alkalizing. It is similar to hemin in hemoglobin, the oxygen and iron-rich factor in our blood.

    Taking lots of these chlorophyll-rich foods is like getting a blood transfusion. It flushes the lymph system, nourishes and oxygenates the vascular system, cleanses the intestines and is healing and soothing to all mucous membranes.


Spirulina

    What:
    Spriulina is a blue-green mirco algae found in warm water alkaline lakes. This first photosynthetic life form was designed by nature 3.6 billion years ago, it posses the amazing ability to thrive in conditions too harsh for other algae.

    Why:
    It contains concentrations of nutrients unlike any other single herb, grain or plant. It is 60 percent protein, contains essential fatty acids, B group vitamins including B12, beta carotene, amino acids and an abundance of chlorophyll.

    Extra Benefits:
    Spirulina is a naturally easily digestible supplement that aids in protecting the immune system, cholesterol reduction and in mineral absorption. It also enhances the natural cleansing and detoxification of the body.

    How:
    Spirulina is a fairly neutral tasting and sold in powder, capsules or tablets. It is also a popular ingredient in many commercial green drinks.

    Learn More About Spirulina...


Alfalfa

    What:
    It is a perennial herb that grows throughout the world in a variety of climates. Alfalfa grows to about 3 feet and has blue-violet flowers. Alfalfa is supposedly the oldest known plant used for livestock feed, with records of its use as early as 1,000 BC in the Middle East. Alfalfa is a combination of two Arabic words: Al - from Allah, and Falf - which means 'Father of all Foods'.

    Why:
    Alfalfa has been used for centuries by people world-wide for overall support and rejuvenation. It is one of the most mineral rich foods, alfalfa contains an enormous quantity of nutrients in a form that is easily digested and assimilated by man. It is up to 50 protein protein, contains a good quantity of beta-carotene, chlorophyll and minerals such as; calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, plus virtually all other known minerals.

    Extra Benefits:
    Herbalists have used alfalfa for many different purposes including; fatigue and muscle tenderness, arthritis, bladder infections gout and rheumatism. It is often used to aid digestion, to help heal bone disorders, treat insomnia and is often recommended as an anti-inflammatory.

    How:
    Liquid extract, capsules or tablets

    Learn More About Alfalfa...


Wheatgrass

    What:
    Wheatgrass is a rich nutritional food popularized by Dr. Ann Wigmore. It is the grass of sprouted wheat and is most commonly consumed freshly squeezed from a shot glass with a slice of lemon on the side.

    Why:
    One ounce of wheatgrass juice has the vitamin and mineral equivalent of 2.2 pounds of fresh vegetables. It contains most of the vitamins and minerals needed for human maintenance, including the elusive B12.

    Extra Benefits:
    Wheatgrass juice has been proven over many years to benefit people in numerous ways: cleansing the lymph system, building the blood, restoring balance in the body, removing toxic metals from the cells, nourishing the liver and kidneys and restoring vitality. Because of its high chlorophyll content it has a strong anti-bacterial effect and can be used inside and outside the body as a healer. It has been used successfully by some health enthusiast in cancer curing therapies.

    How:
    It is most potent when taken as freshly squeezed juice within minutes of pressing, consuming it this way can take a bit of getting used to! However it can also be taken in powder or tablet form.

    It is important to note that most people with wheat allergies do not suffer any symptoms from consuming wheat grass as all the allergens have been broken down in the sprouting process.

    Learn More About Wheatgrass...


Kelp

    What:
    Found growing on the shores of the Atlantic as well as the Mediterranean Seas, kelp is brown seaweed that has been used in various culinary and medicinal applications. The predominantly available variety of kelp is the giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera).

    Why:
    It is a rich source of vitamins, especially B vitamins, and also contains many trace vitamins and minerals including iodine which is essential for thyroid function.

    Extra Benefits:
    Because it is such a good source of organic iodine one of the main benefits of kelp is its support for the thyroid gland. Kelps other health benefits also include increasing metabolism, helping to balance blood lipid concentrations, assisting with poor digestion and it is especially good for people with mineral deficiencies.

    How:
    Kelp is sold dehydrated, and in flake and powder forms for use as a condiment in place of salt.


Barley Grass

    What:
    Barley grass is one of the green grasses.

    Why:
    It is high in calcium and iron, it contains all essential amino acids as well as chlorophyll, flavonoids, vitamin C, B12 and many minerals. Its juice is seven times richer in Vitamin C than an equivalent weight of oranges, five times richer in iron than spinach, and ten times richer in calcium than milk.

    Extra Benefits:
    It improves stamina, clarity of thought, heals the stomach along with other digestive organs and is a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also improves the texture of the skin, and heals the dryness associated with aging.

    How:
    Barley is normal sold in powder form which you stir into water and drink; it has a pleasant milky taste. It can also be taken in the form of capsules or tablets.

References:

  1. The Food Connection- Sam Graci
  2. Prescription for Nutritional Healing- Phyllis A. Balch, cnc and James F. Balch, m.d.
  3. Vista Magazine
  4. Alive.com


Prescriptions for Natural Healing

A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Natural Health and Remedies!
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A completely updated and over one-third revised, this third edition of Prescription for Nutritional Healing incorporates the latest information on nutritional supplements, herbal remedies, and their health-promoting effects on hundreds of disorders and diseases.

Nature's Multivitamins.

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